Dr. Frank LaFerla , Director of UCI MIND, addressed the 1,000+ prominent political and entertainment industry leaders – in addition to celebrities – who gathered on March 21, 2012, at the Beverly Hilton to recognize advances in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and rally around the growing movement to end the disease. This annual Alzheimer’s Association gala has raised over $19 million since its inception to advance cutting-edge research, increase awareness, and address the needs of Americans living with the disease and their caregivers.
In his brief address, Dr. LaFerla reminded the audience that the price is just too high for us to remain idle and ignore the growing epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease, with a new case developing every 68 seconds. “If we do nothing, this disease will bankrupt our country both financially and emotionally. Research today is the only hope for tomorrow.”
Optimism is justified, according to Dr. LaFerla, who noted that we are now conducting clinical trials on new drugs that are actually based on specific disease mechanisms. “Hence, we are not shooting blindly, but going after appropriate targets.” Now is the time to “declare war on Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. LaFerla urged, if we are to achieve the national goal of preventing and slowing Alzheimer’s by 2025, as set forth in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.
“Unfortunately, research is very expensive,” Dr. LaFerla explained. He urged those present to help raise the funds needed and to hold researchers accountable. “Hold our feet to the fire, to ensure that we continue to make progress, so that Alzheimer’s disease does not end up being our reward for living a long and prosperous life.”
UCI MIND a part of national effort to identify effective treatments, preventive strategies, and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. As one of 29 federally funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers, UCI MIND is engaged in innovative scientific activities. UCI MIND is leading efforts in developing new animal models, using stem cells as a potential treatment, and identifying lifestyle factors that affect risk and disease progression, particularly among the oldest old. UCI MIND is committed to making memories last a lifetime. As Dr. LaFerla pointed out closing, “Working together, we can ensure that Alzheimer’s disease becomes a memory.